The winter of 2009 dropped more than a whack of snow on Ottawa – it also delivered the inaugural edition of Ottawa Parenting Times on newsstands across the city.
The birth of a new publication in the small Ottawa world of media is always a ceremonious event, drawing as much curiosity and interest as a newborn baby. The stork in this instance, Peter Ausland, who – armed with years of publishing experience – saw a need for fresh, honest and locally based parenting-related content that had up until then, gone relatively unfilled. He decided to try his hand, hiring founding editor Kelly Roesler to aid with the magazine’s launch.
The first few years yielded quarterly editions, and parents – who fell in love with the magazine, stuffed with good reads by acclaimed writers – couldn’t get enough.
“It was new, fresh, colourful, with excellent local content,” Ausland says. So much so, that within a few years, the magazine grew to six editions per year – no small feat in the magazine world.
Celebrating 10 years this year, Ottawa Parenting Times now reaches more parents than ever, with over 300 distribution locations citywide, and online.
Much like children – and the magazine is very much the baby of the team involved in its production – Ottawa Parenting Times keeps growing and evolving. The banner has changed, as has the layout and the overall look of the magazine constantly improves. Over the years, Ottawa Parenting Times has adopted an easier-to-read format with bigger, brighter pictures, eye-friendly spacing and coded tabs that make readers’ favourite sections faster to locate. But our mandate – to inspire and support local parents and caregivers as they navigate what we unanimously agree is the most important (and often difficult) job there is: raising our children – has never changed.
We truly believe that it takes a village to ensure the next generation is happy, secure and enriched, which is why we continually seek out the most respected experts and professionals in the city in the course of our research. We also pride ourselves on communicating with local parents to get their side of the story – because who better to get the truth from than the people on the front lines of raising children?
In dialoguing with parents, we also learned about the need and desire for a one-stop shop for information and resources. In 2014, the Ottawa Parent and Child Expo was born. Held twice a year, the expo has become Ottawa’s biggest and best-attended bilingual parenting and family expo of its kind, something we are very proud of.
Ottawa Parenting Times and the Ottawa Parent and Child Expo work hand-in-hand to bring you locally based information about things that you’ve told us you care about. We’ve got it all, from local education, to resources for every age and stage of growing up, to recreation options, information on day cares, after-school care, school board options, to private schools, summer camps, clubs, and activities for your children. We even offer something to interest moms and dads.
We’re excited for what the future holds. As always, we thank you for your readership, for allowing us to be your voice and sharing your stories. We couldn’t do it without you, the parent readers and the great local businesses that advertise their fantastic products, programmes, and services available to local families. All business owners know that without respect for their quality staff, there’s no business at all. Have something to say or suggest? We’ve got time to listen.
Here’s to a fabulous decade, and we’ll here for Ottawa parents for many more!